7 Nov 2003

Australian-based NGO says killed Papua rebel had given up violence

11:23 am on 7 November 2003

An Australian based NGO says that one of the at least ten Papuan rebels killed by the Indonesian military in Papua province this week, had last month called for international help to set up a peaceful dialogue with Jakarta.

Indonesian special forces troops ambushed and killed the rebels, members of the Free Papua Movement or OPM during what they called a "sweeping operation" near Yalengga village, in the province's highlands.

The Australian West Papua Association says the reports they have show at least ten OPM members died, including their leader Yustinus Murib.

The NGO says Mr Murib had pulled back from the 30 year separatist struggle and had written last month to heads of state and the United Nations asking for mediation in a dialogue with the Indonesian Government.

Mr Murib read his letter on Australian television this week, in footage the AWPA says was smuggled out of Papua recently.